Eight months ago, solider Brandon Harker was deployed to Afghanistan. Like many dog owners in the military who find themselves in this situation — and there are many, as we learned when we talked to Dogs on Deployment a few months ago — he had to find a place for his dog, a two-year-old yellow Lab named Oakley, to stay when he was gone.
He asked his friend to take care of Oakley, according to Q13Fox.com. It was the wrong move.
This month, Harker returned home to find that his dog was gone. His friend told him he had given Oakley away. Harker wasn’t about to give up; he turned to social media to try and locate his dog.
What he discovered was shocking. A number of people contacted Harker, saying that they’d seen Oakley listed for sale in February on Craigslist.
It appears his “friend” did not simply give Oakley away, but sold him.
Harker has reached out to vets and shelters — his dog is microchipped and registered — but thus far has no leads.
So he too turned to Craigslist. Harker posted an ad, titled simply “Yellow Lab.” It says, in part:
He is good with kids and other dogs. He has a unique coat, on his face he has spots of a darker yellow (champagne) he also has spots of the same color going down his sides and legs. If anyone has any information on this and can help me please do. I am just trying to get him back to me since he was wrongfully given away or sold with out my permission while I was deployed. I will also be able to verify the dog is mine because he is microchipped and registered to me. Once again thank you to everyone who sees this and tries to help. If you could spread the word about this issues that would be great as well.
So far, no leads, just a lot of sympathy and a few news stories. Hopefully, those will increase, and the person who has Oakley will find out that the person who really owns the dog is looking for him. No doubt Oakley is looking for Harker, too.
“He never growled or anything at anybody, he always ran up with his whole body shaking, and then put his head down to sniff you,” Harker told KCPQ. “He thought he was a lap dog and he’d crawl up on the couch and try to fit on your lap.”